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Frayed nerves over the N800bn debt owed petroleum marketers which is capable of convulsing 2018 Yuletide celebrations in Nigeria has been doused.
This is revealed by the Chief Operating Officer, Downstream at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih, in an interview in Abuja.
This came as the Corporation had earlier claimed that the Federal Government has paid petroleum products marketers N236 billion, being first tranche of the outstanding fuel subsidy claims owed the marketers.
However, members of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, (DAPPMAN), confirmed receipt of the payment but observed that they would still seek clarifications on certain issues with the government.
Ikem-Obih averred that the payment, which was done through promissory notes, had been ready since last Wednesday, while the marketers were asked to come pick them up Monday.
NNPC further made it clear that all the promissory notes for this tranche would mature in 2019, adding that the CBN had also promised to grant special status to the notes.
According to him, “I can confirm that the promissory note has been issued. In fact, there were ready on Wednesday. The marketers got emails inviting them to come and receive them on Monday.
“By the end of Tuesday, there were actually ready from the Debt Management Office, DMO. We had a meeting with the CBN Governor on Thursday and they were informed officially. The Director General of DMO was there and said that they should pick up the promissory note. “Most of them were waiting for that meeting with the CBN governor; it went very well. one of the things that CBN governor had taken the initiative to do is to ask the banks to freeze the interest on any loan that are related to that scheme, the outstanding payment, from end of June 2017 to date. Those are some of the additional concession that government has done.”
NNPC therefore assured of steady and stable petroleum products supply during the Yuletide season and beyond, stating that the NNPC currently has over 2.7 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol.
Business Hilights recalls that the federal Government had last week, denied rumours that pump price may be hiked, saying NNPC has the capacity to saturate every part of the country with products hence no cause for alarm after all.
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